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Greg Bluestein

The (wealthy) Outsider Effect is as strong as ever in Georgia

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Sen. David Perdue. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

Sen. David Perdue. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM


For a sign of how Donald Trump’s resounding victory in Georgia’s primary could affect state politics, look no further than the outsiders lining up to run for public office under the Gold Dome this week.

Well-heeled businessmen, including Republicans Eugene Yu and Jim Pace, are running for Congressional seats. Democrat Jim Barksdale, the president of an Atlanta investment firm, is set to challenge U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson. And more outsiders with deep pockets are considering whether to launch bids before the end of qualifying on Friday.

Some of the contenders filing this week, particularly on the Republican side of the aisle, want to ride the coattails of Donald Trump, the billionaire who won a resounding victory in last week’s Georgia primary, or follow the playbook of the jean-jacketed David Perdue, who swept establishment-backed candidates in 2014 to win an open U.S. Senate seat.

But bottling that outsider magic isn’t so simple. Republican operative Todd Rehm said the Trump phenomenon has “birthed a cycle’s worth of pretenders to the outsider throne,” much like President Barack Obama’s victory eight years ago inspired imitators.

Read more: How the Outsider Effect is influencing Georgia politics.

Also: Georgia win illustrates how Trump has capitalized on shift in politics

And: Uncovering the mystery Democratic candidate for Georgia’s Senate seat